|Author||William Raimond Baird, et al.|
Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities is a compendium of fraternities and sororities in the United States and Canada first published in 1879. It covers national and international general (social), professional, and honor fraternities, including defunct organizations, with an overview of each society's history and traditions, ideals and symbols, and membership information. The 20th and most recent edition, published in 1991, was over 1200 pages long.
The reference work was compiled by William Raimond Baird (1848-1917), an 1878 graduate of the Stevens Institute of Technology. He exhaustively researched other fraternal organizations when he was seeking a suitable partner to merge with his own Alpha Sigma Chi. He eventually selected Beta Theta Pi, which absorbed in 1879. As no authoritative resource on the subject existed, Baird published his research for the benefit of the public as American College Fraternities.
Baird and Beta Theta Pi held the rights for some time before selling them to George Banta, publisher of Banta's Greek Exchange. The Banta Publishing Company of Menasha, Wisconsin released several editions before spinning the publication off to the Baird's Manual Foundation, which published editions in 1977 and 1991.